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Speakers: Journalists must evolve to keep up with rapidly-changing journalism

  • Published at 07:57 pm January 29th, 2020
Article 19
Speakers at the launch of an online course on media law, media ethics, and digital rights and safety at hotel Amari Dhaka on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 Courtesy

Speakers made the remarks at the launch of an online course on media law, media ethics, and digital rights and safety at hotel Amari Dhaka on Wednesday

In the age of social media, citizens are not safe from the risks that affect journalists, and there is no alternative to developing awareness and technological skills for everyone to keep up with the changing times, said speakers at a program.

Speakers made the remarks at the launch of an online course on media law, media ethics, and digital rights and safety at hotel Amari Dhaka on Wednesday.

UK-based rights body Article 19 and German leading media development organization DW Akademie launched the platform as part of a project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

A research publication on journalism education in Bangladesh was also launched at the event, along with presentations of six projects developed for tech-based solutions to journalism and media issues.

Speaking at the program, Faruq Faisel, regional director of Bangladesh and South Asia for Article 19, said: “In this age of social media, the difference between journalists and non-journalists have been blurred. Police can arrest me for posting a status update on Facebook.”  

Referring to the recently-passed Digital Security Act, he said apart from journalists, rights activists and bloggers must also be aware of their digital rights and laws.

Dr Asif Nazrul, who helped design the course, said, “Journalism has become difficult. We have seen attacks on the judiciary, and misuse of information technology [in recent times]. We were fully aware of this perspective while designing the course. We designed it with the aim of promoting safe, smart and responsible journalism.”

When a journalist knows legal processes and their rights and entitlement, it gives him the sense of security, he said, underscoring the need for journalists to know of their legal rights.   

Earlier, in her welcome speech, DW Akademie Country Manager for Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan Priya Esselborn said there is a gap between journalism education and practice in the country.

Among others, Janina Islam Abir, a lecturer at the media and communications department of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB); and Ines Dworschack-Borg, political attaché of the German Embassy in Dhaka, also spoke at the event.

The 10-week online course is divided into three parts – digital rights and safety, media laws and media ethics. Anyone can take the course free of cost, using computers or smartphones.  

The course will be offered starting mid-February, on https://www.banglatutorial-media.org

At the program, a research study on “Journalism education in Bangladesh: From aspiring journalists to career professionals” was also launched at the event.

Conducted by Prof Jude William Jenilo, Fahmidul Haq and Shameem Mahmud, it looks into the university-level education of journalism, career path of fresh graduates and various aspects of leading media outlets of the country.

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